Move in next to these guys
The Bad Neighbors are not a Bad Company cover band—thank you, merciful heavens—but a quirky Southern rock outfit that just might bust out a polka number.
Built on the stout foundation of Geoff White (guitars and vocals), John Elkins (guitar and vocals), Lawson Fox (bass and vocals), drummer Rick Gruninger and guitarist Mike Hogue, Bad Neighbors can trace its musical roots back to the ‘60s.
“I don’t really think you can pigeonhole us,” Gruninger says. “We come from so many different backgrounds.”
Those backgrounds include alternative rock, country, prog and folk. These mismatching genre sounds occasionally pop up in their original songs. That said, most of their stuff has at least a faint Southern rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe.
Perhaps the best example of this genre-bending on their demo album comes through in their song “Alright Now.” It starts off with a very, very ZZ Top-sounding riff, progresses into country twang and then goes into the “'Cause it’s alright now, in fact it’s a gas” chorus taken directly from the Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
“Better Left Unsaid” goes in a more blatantly Southern rock direction, complete with soaring, long-lasting guitar solos. But even this song incorporates some ‘80’s power pop elements and Neil Young-esque vocals.
“Wife’s Been Cheatin',” unsurprisingly, is about a promiscuous woman who pursues her cuckolding with uncommon zeal. “Your wife’s been cheatin’ on me again.” If you like country, you’ll feel right at home. If you don’t, you’ll probably want to wander off to the toilet for three minutes and 58 seconds.
“Callous Lover,” a Bad Neighbors original song, has percussion straight from Don Henley and the Eagles. While it features typical I-have-woman-problems lyrics, at least the imagery is pretty, and they reference the Truckee River. “Tears raining on the scorched Nevada desert” certainly paints a picture.
Hogue says the band usually starts its shows with original songs, of which there are about 15, and then moves onto cover tunes later in the evening. Evidently, people prefer dancing to familiar songs. And the covers can be anything. Country, rock, dance music, polka, whatever the audience wants, they shall receive at a Bad Neighbors’ show.
“We’re all over the map [with covers],” Gruninger says.
In order to receive said music, go to the Bad Neighbor’s home club, the Great Basin Brewing Company. They’re in good enough with the bar to have played 19 times before and, of course, good enough to get free beers.
“They’ve been good to us,” Gruninger says. “Good things come from playing here.”
Those good things include playing at Harrah’s, the Grand Sierra, Red Hawk Country Club and the Bubinga Lounge. They also include being a main act at Rollin’ on the River on June 20 at the Wingfield Park, playing for the Angel Kiss Foundation at the same place the next day, the July 4 celebration at Rancho San Rafael and the Rib Cook-Off at the Great Basin on Aug. 31.
In summary, Bad Neighbors is a slick rock and country band that’s easy to listen to and stylistically diverse.